The future of Europe’s Energy infrastructure

Published on: 26 September 2023 | Last edited on: 26 September 2023

The EU is working on a strong, resilient and greener European energy infrastructure, that will make us less dependent on external sources. A recent funding round by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has recently been closed, but new opportunities are already being launched or prepared. In this article we give a short overview.

CEF Energy: PCI call for energy infrastructure projects

5 September 2023 was the deadline for the CEF Energy ‘PCI call’ launched on 18 April 2023, with a grant budget of 750 million euros. The call was a great opportunity for market players to obtain funding on both ‘Works and Studies’ related to research and realization of energy infrastructure projects. The call focused on the following themes: Smart energy networks; Integration of renewable energy in the energy network; Cross-border electricity networks; and Cross-border networks for CO2 transport and storage.

Parties that have missed out on this interesting round of grants should not grieve, as the CEF Energy ‘PCI call’ will return next year in a similar form. In the paragraph below, we explain for what types of project an application may be of interest.
Apart from that, also some other new CEF application rounds are being launched or prepared:

    • Cross-border Renewable Energy Projects – Preparatory Studies: a brand-new call was launched on 19 September 2023 (deadline: 9 January 2024).
    • Cross-border Renewable Energy Projects – CB RES status: new call expected in November 2023.
    • Cross-border Renewable Energy Projects – Works & Studies: new call expected in November 2023.

What is a PCI? And what types of projects can it involve?

To be able to apply for future CEF Energy ‘PCI calls’ it is necessary that your project has a so-called PCI status. Meaning that the project must fit within an official list of major European infrastructure projects: the list of ‘Projects of Common Interest’ (PCI). The current 5th PCI list includes 67 electricity transmission and storage projects, 20 gas projects, six CO₂ network projects and five smart grid projects.

A brand-new sixth PCI list is waiting for approval by the European Parliament (probably by early 2024). This new list is expected to include more and different types of projects than its predecessor. For example, projects around cross-border networks for CO2 transport and storage may in future also receive funding for the actual underground storage (unlike in the previous call). Furthermore, CEF is also expected to offer funding opportunities for hydrogen transport infrastructure. This could significantly help to accelerate to improve Europe’s energy infrastructure, making it greener and less dependent of Russian gas.

We have the experience!! So what can we do for you?

In recent years PNO Group was involved in several PCI and CEF grant projects. For example, we supported the North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium (including TenneT, Gasunie and Energinet) in a successful CEF Energy grant application for a project on wind power hubs (Dutch article here). And for last year’s call, the Northern Lights project was awarded 4 million euro funding from CEF Energy to perform a FEED study for the expansion of their CO2 transport and storage capacity in Norway (to over 5 million tonnes per year, to respond to the increasing demand in Europe).

Want to know more about CEF Energy and how EGEN can support you with your project or application? Please contact us at +31 (0)88 838 13 81 or fill in the contact form below.

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